Graffard favours Newmarket Classic for Malavath

Francis-Henri Graffard’s Malavath is on track for the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket after a taking seasonal debut in the Prix Imprudence at Deauville.

The filly was impressive last season when never unplaced in five runs, ending her French campaign with a Group Two victory in the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte at Chantilly.

A run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar followed and the daughter of Mehmas was a gallant runner-up when coming home just half a length behind Christophe Clement’s Pizza Bianca.

The form from that race was further boosted at Newmarket on Tuesday when Cachet, fourth at Del Mar, triumphed comfortably in the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes on her first run of the new campaign.

Malavath kicked off her own season in the Group Three Prix Imprudence at Deauville and was a ready winner despite the race being run on a surface heavier than her preferred good going.

“We were very impressed with her comeback, she did it nicely and everything is fine with her,” said Graffard.

“She is better on better ground but she has just shown that she’s a very good filly.”

Prior to the Deauville contest, options were open as to whether the three-year-old would target the French or English version of the Guineas and the victory has now left connections more inclined to aim at the latter race.

“At the moment we are leaning towards the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, there are some trials in England, Ireland and France again this week so we will decide after that, but that is the main option,” said Graffard.

The trainer also confirmed plans for Sealiway, who finished second to Skaletti when making his seasonal debut in the Group Prix d’Harcourt at Longchamp on Sunday.

Sealiway winning the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot
Sealiway winning the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

The Group One Prix Ganay is next on the agenda for the chestnut, who is already a winner at the top level, having previously taken the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.

“I was very pleased with him, he will come on a lot for that and we will run him next in the Prix Ganay,” said Graffard.

Plans are also taking shape for 12-times winner The Revenant, who has scored twice already this term at Saint-Cloud, taking the Listed Prix Altipan and the Group Three Prix Edmond Blanc, races he also won in 2019.

Almost exclusively a miler throughout his career, a step up in trip could be afoot for the gelding as Graffard is mulling over a bid for the Group One Prix d’Ispahan, run at Longchamp over a mile and a furlong.

He is also entertaining the idea of an alternative engagement on British turf as the seven-year-old holds an entry for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 14.

The Revenant winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot
The Revenant winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Graffard said of the horse: “He was very good at Saint-Cloud, either he will go straight to the Prix d’Ispahan or he will run in the Lockinge.”

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